Scheme used homeless to cash checks

A federal judge this week sentenced three men for their role in a scheme that used homeless people to cash counterfeit payroll checks.

The three pleaded guilty previously for the scheme that passed more than $400,000 in checks in Kansas City. Nationwide such crews have passed more than $8 million in checks, federal prosecutors say.

According to their media release:

Truly Matthews, 48, Calvin Almond, 47, and Gary Merritt, 55, pleaded guilty previously to conspiracy to commit bank fraud from Dec. 21, 2012, to Feb. 1, 2013.

Matthews was sentenced to 10 years and four months and ordered to pay $62,861 in restitution; Merritt was sentenced to five years and ordered to pay 239,092 in restitution; Almond was sentenced to two years and 11 months and ordered to pay $57,772.

Matthews, from Atlanta, Ga., helped print the fake checks and Merritt and Almond recruited homeless men in Kansas City to pass them at area banks.

Almond previously served prison time for his role in a similar scheme in 2002.

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